Consider this something of a reading list, all based on a theme:
“The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom… If the fool would persist in his folly he would become wise” — in which Bruce Charlton delves into this concept. In fact, a choice quote, w/which I strongly empathize:
If I have any virtue in a higher than usual degree it probably is exactly this – that I persist in my folly, with honesty, until its falsehood becomes evident and unavoidable;
Another, more central to the point of this post:
Error is self-correcting IF we stick by it honestly, and follow it through to conclusion…This created world has ultimate coherence, since it is the product of one God. Therefore, all error will reveal itself in incoherence.
Similar, from the Junior Ganymede:
There are a few phrases that are so true that they have the force of incantations and bywords. They come to mind now:
The only way out is through.
You can’t go home again.
No man can step in the same river twice.
The deep meaning of the Atonement is that you can never escape history. You can only embrace it so fully that you master it. That, it turns out, is also the deep meaning of the creation story.
Today our Sunday School lesson was on David and Bathsheba, the adulterers who begat Solomon, and Christ.
And, here, some thoughts of my own, heavily inspired by Venkatesh Rao’s Breaking Smart (note to NRX would-be conquerors of the world: that whole series is required reading):
Simple solutions that solve the problem you want solved, and fit the way the problem is framed in your mind are easy to come up with and think about. But that rules out a very large set of solutions that don’t fit those criteria, but fit others that you might care about a lot if you stopped to think about them.
An example that springs to mind are Douglas fir trees. Douglas firs grow very tall—taller than their root structure should allow. They should fall down. But they don’t, because they intertwine their roots with each other, such that each tree is supporting a number of other trees, which are supporting it in turn.
I first heard about Douglas firs as a sort of morality tale on the “value of supporting one another.” And that is all well and good. But what I think is unexplored is that you cannot meaningfully answer the question of “Which tree is holding up the others?” Well, they kind of all are, even as they are all held up in turn. What is true is the root structure is very efficient—each connection serves both to receive support, and to give it, depending on circumstance. When I think of this, the words “elegant” and “beautiful” come to mind, the way a mathematician uses them.
And finally: pretty much anything from The Last Psychiatrist, who is merciless in the spotlighting of incoherence, and lies to oneself.